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Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus

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Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus
Lightning over Germany. Photo: DPA
17:29 CEST+02:00
If you feel like you are an unlucky person by nature you probably want to avoid Cottbus. A study released on Wednesday shows that the old wisdom that lightning never strikes twice is far from true in the town near the Polish border.

The study conducted by Siemens' lightining information service (BLIDS) shows that Cottbus, which lies near the Polish border, was hit by 8.42 lightning strikes per square meter in 2014.

The reason why Cottbus won the title is simple, Stephan Thern, head of BLIDS told N-tv.

"Cottbus had the most stormy days," he said.

But the title has switched hands repeatedly over the past few years. In 2013 Coburg in northern Bavaria won it.

In general, though, patterns can be found, and three regions are particularly prone to lightning storms - the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge), the Schwabian Jura and the Alpine region.

"At these points the masses of air come up against mountains, are pushed up and cool off. That helps creature lightning storms," said Thern.

On the other end of the scale the town of Passau in south eastern Bavaria was only hit by 0.23 lightning strikes per square metre in the same year.

In total BLIDS recorded over 600,000 lightning strikes in 2014 through its work with some 150 measuring stations across the country. This was a 15 percent increase on the previous year.

"One of the focal points of our university is energy research, that takes in the spectrum of energy creation – renewable and conventional – to storage and infrastructure.

"Therefore the title of lightning capital of Germany really suits our region and the start of [Cottbus' football team] FC Energie's season,“ said Holger Kelch mayor of Cottbus.

Despite Kelch's delight at Cottbus winning this title, lightning strikes cause serious damage and pose considerable dangers. In 2014 lightning caused €340 million worth of damage in Germany.

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